October was a successful month for London-based rockers Bastille as they wowed Brixton Academy with their catchy, synth-rock tunes and ever-growing string of chart topping indie-tracks.
The O2 Academy in Brixton held the London leg of their ‘Bad Blood’ tour, offering an acoustically perfect and visually seamless surround for hits including ‘Flaws’ and ‘Laura Palmer’.
The British four-piece started in 2010 and blew away the charts last year with their track ‘Pompeii’. Though not their debut single, this spurred the nation to listen further, and their album went to number 1 in March 2013. Lead by the mammoth talents of Dan Smith, success was inevitable and the roaring response from the Tuesday night concert reflected that!
As the audience poured in, it was obvious to see how wide Bastille’s fan base spread. Age, gender, music taste and nationality were irrelevant – it seems EVERYONE wanted to enjoy the overt, head-banging moves of Dan and co on stage!
The support act for the night was up and coming trio, Bipolar Sunshine, who (though sound like a mispronounced doctor’s diagnosis) surprised me with how engaging and entertaining they were. Their tracks had that familiar yet novel sound which kept the audience fixated at the stage, even joining in and singing along where they could. Their better known track, ‘River’, sent a cascade of audience voices chanting back to them and the threesome wrapped up their set with a warm and funky reggae-felt finale.
As Dan and the rest of Bastille adorned the stage, crowds grew excitable and the mumble of chatter transformed to a sea of cheers, whoops and screams. The melodic notes of ‘Bad Blood’s’ introduction started to play and this set the mood for the rest of the gig. Throwing out well known hits like ‘Things We Lost in the Fire’ and ‘Icarus’ intertwined with genius covers created a mix which kept on surprising. A particular favourite for me was a cleverly performed cover of ‘Scrubs’ and ‘What Would You Do?’ transporting the crowd back to the 90’s R&B era, except this time with that famous rock intelligence.
Bastille – among fans – are renowned for their rare lack of guitar use within their tracks, usually sticking to keys, drums and bass. However this guitar-silence was broken on stage when a beautiful acoustic rendition of Flaws proved the sheer wonder of Dan’s musical ability. The crowd swept silent and pure appreciation for the track overcome everyone. But in sure Bastille style, Dan’s energetic vocals and dynamic stage presence soon returned, and is one I will never forget. Even running into the crowd and surfing around the mosh-pit wasn’t too much to ask! It’s clear to see that the boys love what they do, and love even more, the fact that we love them back!
Bastille- I’m sure- will be gracing our screens and gig venues for a long time to come, so if you can’t make it along to a Bad Blood concert, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for their next tour. This band has a real future –there was, without doubt, nothing BAD blood about it.